Carlin has a new star in their system. Zak O’Sullivan has taken the British feeder series by storm, coming second in his first season in British F4. This year he moved up to the GB3 championship and dominated it, which was rewarded with a three-day FIA F3 test with the Carlin team. And now, an F3 seat is on the horizon. O’Sullivan sat down with F1 Feeder Series after the Valencia F3 test to discuss his future and the test.
The Brit understands that to progress his career, the only step to take next is the step up to F3: “I’m just waiting to confirm everything with teams etc. I’ve got a couple options on the table.
“For me, that’s the logical step up. I’ve learnt enough in GB3 this year and from the test the pace is positive too.”
Despite the F3 cars being similar to what Zak has driven before, there was still a learning curve with the test being at Valencia. A track that he did not come across in his single seater career: “The learning of the car was just getting used to it all, how it handled rather than a big speed jump.
“The track is quite unique. I think most teams had to raise the ride heights of their cars quite a lot to get over some of the kerbs. It was a bit of a weird one for car setup, you had to get away from what you normally run to compensate for the kerbs.”
On day three, O’Sullivan set a top 10 time which showed the positive pace previously mentioned, even though most of the other cars were doing race runs: “I would say it was our true pace, others not so much. It was pretty hard to tell, we were on new tyres so I don’t think the gap decreased that much throughout the three days but it did look better on that last afternoon.
“We did make some progress over the days, so I would say it’s more of an in-between step between the end of day one and where we were at by the end of day three.”
But the pace during the whole test is what surprised the 16-year-old the most: “[I didn’t expect] my pace relative to Logan [Sargeant]. I was expecting to be a bit off him when they brought him in for the last two days. The pace seemed very promising and I was doing similar, if not faster, times than Logan’s.
“I think from my side, I felt quite confident with the car, especially by the end of day three and it was all pretty positive.”
Logan Sargeant is a multiple F3 race winner, so to have someone like that by your side is invaluable as Zak points out: “I think he was in a bit to help develop the car and share any knowledge from driving the Prema car and also the Charouz last year.
“He’s a known commodity in F3, so it was good to chat to him. See what F3 is all about and what to look for. I think I learnt a lot from him.”
Photo credit: Kokoro Media
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